After Strike, UTLA Sets Its Sights on Prop. 13

The head of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) says the union will campaign for a 2020 ballot initiative to scale back Proposition 13, the 40-year-old law that caps real estate taxes in California. UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl’s announcement followed the end of a six-day strike by teachers of the nation’s second-largest school district.

UTLA’s motive is clear. The union wants more long-term sources of funding for teachers and schools. If passed, the 2020 initiative, dubbed “Schools and Communities First," could yield an additional $6 billion to $10 billion annually. It would allow local governments to assess commercial and industrial property taxes according to market value every three years or less, but would leave current protections in place for residential properties.

As part of the new labor contract with UTLA, Mayor Eric Garcetti, who helped broker the deal to end the strike, agrees to endorse the measure. Its proponents will face off against an army of well-heeled businesses, lobbyists, and taxpayer groups who argue that California is already a difficult climate for business and that Proposition 13 is a sacred doctrine which allows for critical economic stability.

You can read more about UTLA’s efforts to support the ballot initiative here